Self-checkout and omni-channel engagement platform Perpule has partnered with supermarket chain HyperCity to open two fully cashier-less stores in Hyderabad. Perpule confirmed this development to MediaNama. This was first reported by TechInAsia.

These two stores are located in Infosys’ Hyderabad campuses. While the checkout process is automated via the Perpule 1Pay app, the stores themselves are not completely unmanned – a few customer support staff are present. Also, as of now, following payment one needs to take the items bought over to a weighing machine, which has a camera fixed to it to verify that the customer is only taking the items paid for. This works only if the number of items are five or less. For larger purchases, a staff member does a physical verification.

The report mentions that HyperCity had been piloting Perpule’s self-checkout app 1Pay in some Indian cities for the past few months, whereby customers with the app on their phones could checkout on their own. One of our colleagues, Shashidhar had tried it out at HyperCity’s Mumbai store.

How 1Pay works?

  • Check which stores near you accept 1Pay.
  • While shopping, directly scan the items you want to buy via the app and add them to the shopping cart.
  • Review items and prices before checking out.
  • Check out special offers currently available at that store.
  • Payment options include debit/credit cards, net banking, mobile wallets and even UPI.

Currently, in India, Perpule has tie-ups with stores in Bangalore (More, HyperCity and Spar), Ahmedabad (Big Bazaar), Mumbai (Big Bazaar and HyperCity), National Capital Region (HyperCity), and Hyderabad (HFN Life, HyperCity). Besides India, it is also has a presence in Nairobi, Kenya and Dubai, UAE.

Perpule claims to have close to 10,000 customers, and that it witnesses 40% repeat users on a daily basis.

Shashi adds: I tried the feature from a Perpule assistant. But the idea of self-checkout will take some time to catch on in India as most customers approached the assistant thought it was another checkout counter which was open.  However, the Perpule payment experience is still cumbersome. It uses an integration with Instamojo to act as a payment gateway. One of the ways I test the seamlessness of a payment method is to use the UPI checkout option. On Perpule, the number of hops was at least 5 steps. Perhaps they need to fix the payment mechanism on priority.

Amazon Go

The Amazon Go store in Seattle, which is currently only open to Amazon employees, offers a similar automated shopping experience via the Amazin Go app, by eliminating the need to stand in a queue to pay bills, similar to how we currently exit a Uber after reaching our destination, and don’t need to stop and pay the fare. Apparently, Amazon is working on setting up physical stores in India as well.

Image credit: Perpule blog